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Cornish pasty - cut.jpeg
Category Meat recipes
Servings 8
Time Prep 30 minutes
Bake 1 hour

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Meat recipes | Cuisine of the United Kingdom

A pasty (Cornish: pasti, hoggan, incorrectly written as pastie) is a type of pie, originally from Cornwall, in the United Kingdom. It is a baked savory pastry case traditionally filled with sliced meat and vegetables. The ingredients are uncooked before being placed in the unbaked pastry case. Pasties with traditional ingredients are specifically named "Cornish pasties". Traditionally, pasties have a semicircular shape, achieved by folding a circular pastry sheet over the filling. The circular edge is then crimped to form a seal.

Ingredients[edit | edit source]

  • 1 medium swede (rutabaga, yellow turnip) (or similar root vegetable), peeled, cut into chunks and then thinly sliced.
  • 4 large potatoes, prepared same as the swede
  • 4 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced.
  • 2 pounds (900g) round (beef skirt), sliced across the grain into roughly 1cm x 2cm strips .
  • Pastry for Cornish Pasties
  • 1 T plain flour (optional)
  • 1 T milk (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Procedure[edit | edit source]

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F 200°C Gas Mark 6.
  2. Slice the vegetables.
  3. Lightly dust the prepared meat in seasoned flour (optional - makes a thicker gravy of the enclosed juices).
  4. Divide the pastry into 4 equal portions. Roll each into circles.
  5. Layer meat and vegetables on one half of each pastry circle to within 1" of the edge. Season generously.
  6. Brush milk onto the edge of the pastry circles (optional).
  7. Bring the other half of the dough over the top of the mixture.
  8. Pinch and twist to seal the dough around the edges.
  9. Make a couple of small slashes in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
  10. Brush pasties with the remaining milk (optional).
  11. Use pastry trimmings to make the intended eater's initial(s) on one end of the pasty. This is the Cornish housewife's traditional way of making and identifying individual pasties to suit each family member e.g. less seasoning for young children or more meat for a hard-working son or anaemic daughter. Also, it enabled tin-miners and fishermen to identify their pasties if they had had to put them down somewhere half-eaten to attend to some urgent work.
  12. Place the pasties on a lightly-greased baking tray (or a double thickness of aluminium foil directly onto the oven shelf).
  13. Bake for approx. 45mins on the middle shelf.
  14. Best taken with a pint of bitter or stout or a large mug of strong tea.

Rewarming[edit | edit source]

  • Place on a cookie sheet in the oven and make a tent with foil over them so only the inside is heated, and not the pie crust.
  • By a campfire, just lay on a hot rock or on a plate tilted towards the fire; before long they are warm and ready to eat.

Tips, Notes, and Variations[edit | edit source]

  • Vegetables - try sweet-corn or different types of beans.
  • Use a pie crust that doesn't crumble too easily or the whole thing falls apart.
  • These fillings are from the recipe book; 'Cornish Recipes, Ancient & Modern', referenced in the notes.
  • Apple.

Peel and thinly slice, sprinkle with soft brown sugar.

  • Broccoli.

Parboil, strain, fill well, and sprinkle a pinch of salt over. A little Cheddar cheese is good in this, instead of salt.

  • Chicken.

Mix diced breast and leg meat, and continue as above,

  • Date.

Chop some stoned dates, and fill well.

  • Eggy.

Diced green or smoked bacon, (back is best) fresh parsley and 1 or 2 eggs, according to size of pasty. Top-crimp from each end, & funnel beaten egg in before closing.

  • Pork.

Pork, potatoes, onion, pinch salt and fresh sage or thyme.

  • Sorrel.

Scald sorrel leaves, fill pasty, serve with sugar and cream.

  • Jam.

Any kind of jam can be used. Make smaller than normal, otherwise a lot of jam is needed!

  • Mackerel.

Allow 1 or 2 for each pasty, clean and boil as normal. Skin and bone them, lay on pasty, fill with fresh parsley, lightly season and close. Herring are good as well.

  • Windy.

A method of using the pastry remnants. Just make an empty pasty, but omit the steam slit, split open while still hot and fill with jam, cheese and chutney, or whatever takes your fancy!

Notes[edit | edit source]

from: Cornish Recipes, Ancient & Modern, 22nd Edition, The Cornwall Federation of Women's Institutes 1965. First collected & published by Edith Martin, Tregavethan, Truro, 1929, for The Cornwall F.of W. I.